SONYA JAQUEZ LEWIS
Dear Friends and Family,
It would be a great privilege to serve the Boulder County Community which I have cherished for more than 20 years as the next Representative for Colorado House District 12.
I am a coalition builder with extensive leadership experience and accomplishments. On the Boulder County Board of Health, I voted for the first oil and gas moratorium in Boulder County, which kept oil and gas out of Boulder County for five years. I was part of the emergency response to the 2013 floods which included housing assistance and animal care. As the former president of Boulder Pride, now called Out Boulder, I stood up for civil rights and equality. In my career as a licensed pharmacist and former Medicaid Pharmacy Director for Colorado Access I initiated the beginnings of the modern Colorado Medicaid program which increased healthcare access to tens of thousands of Coloradans.
Now I am eager for the chance to serve our community in a bigger way. I will continue to tackle challenges ranging from protecting our community from fracking to helping working families afford healthcare and housing. As your representative I promise to have an open door for my constituents. Please join me to work for a state that is safe, fair, and inclusive place for all Coloradans.
Thank You for your support,
My Top Issues
For the past several years, many communities and homeowners have had to deal with the rapid expansion of oil and gas into their backyards. These large industrial operations are disruptive and dangerous. Last year this problem became personal for me when I received the letter from Crestone Peak Resources stating their intent to put a massive, multi-well production pad 500 feet from my home. My wife Allison and I are oil and gas impacted Coloradoans. You can count on me to do everything I can to protect our state’s health and safety.
My first bill as your representative will be to call for an immediate “TIME OUT” on new drilling. With four people dead and countless unreported explosions, fires, accidents, spills, and gas and oil leaks, the industry has proven they are not drilling safely. We need immediate action to protect our community.
My second bill will be to increase the severance tax. Colorado’s severance tax is one of the lowest in the nation. We need oil and gas companies to pay their fair share to our community instead of giving them unnecessary tax breaks.
I also support:
- Codifying the Martinez ruling and reforming the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which has never denied a permit.
- Increasing the financial assurance requirements paid by oil and gas. Fracking companies, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up from spills, accidents and abandoned wells.
This issue is personal to me, I promise to put the health and safety of Coloradoans above all else.
One of the biggest challenges facing all American families is the outrageous cost of health care. As a licensed Pharmacist and member of the Boulder County Board of Health for 7 years, I know the devastating effects when a family lacks proper and accessible health care. Insurance premiums keep rising, and the cost of drugs and medical procedures is the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country.
I am the ONLY candidate in this race who has developed and implemented an increase in health care access for Coloradans. As the former Pharmacy Director of Medicaid, Colorado Access, I worked tirelessly with healthcare professionals and health clinics across the state to enlarge the Child Health Plan known as CHP+. This program has helped thousands of kids receive life saving drugs, mental health care, and shots and vaccinations at a price their parents can afford.
As your representative, I promise to:
- Introduce “Medicare Plan for All” legislation, which will help fill the gap for Coloradans who are not able to receive health insurance for employers or make too much money to receive insurance premium reductions. My Medicare for All plan has been endorsed by health care coalitions and candidates and will be a fresh approach to striving for Universal Healthcare for all Coloradans. My experience in healthcare work makes me the perfect candidate to champion this issue.
- I will sponsor legislation to guarantee Drug Pricing Transparency. Prescription drug prices are out of control. It should be easy for a patient to know how much their prescription will cost, if it is covered by their health plan, and if cheaper options are available. This is common sense.
- I am committed to protecting Reproductive Rights. Access to reproductive healthcare is under assault by cuts to the Affordable Care Act and decisions made by the Trump Administration. I will support legislation that protects access to all forms of birth control as part of basic preventative health care.
Everyone should be able to go to school or the movies and feel safe. I am so encouraged by the growing involvement of young people and students in supporting responsible, sensible gun laws. For too long America has allowed the NRA and gun manufacturers to control this debate. I commit that as your Colorado House Representative, I will be a Gun Sense legislator. I will do everything in my power to
- expand background checks,
- ban assault weapons and bump stocks,
- and raise the age requirement for gun purchases.
I will work to expose NRA funded legislators, who are stopping legislative action. I promise to always have an open door for my constituents to discuss new ideas on reducing gun violence. The majority of Coloradans believe we must do more about gun violence and I will make sure their voice is heard. We need to act now!
As a Latina, LGBTQI, Woman, I have spent my entire adult life on the front lines demanding equality, fairness, and respect. In college, I was the first woman to run for student body president. As the President of Boulder Pride, now Out Boulder, I personally helped many victims of hate crimes and brought people together to advocate for their rights. No Coloradan should face discrimination because of who they love or who they are.
I thought we had come a long way from when I had to march for my rights and equality, but unfortunately the election of Donald Trump showed that is not the case. I completely empathize with everyone who feels threatened by the Trump Administration. Unfortunately we face many challenges at the state level as well. Year in and year out, Colorado Republicans try to pass hateful and dangerous laws like shutting down the Colorado Civil Rights division or allowing businesses to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom. We can not to allow businesses or individuals to pick and choose which laws to follow. Our businesses, schools and courthouses must be open and accessible to all people. I will work tirelessly to oppose these hateful bills.
I believe transgender Coloradans should be allowed to change their birth certificates and immigrants should be able to have identity documents without harassment. I will work toward banning Conversion Therapy, which has been proven to be dangerous, hateful and discredited.
As your representative, I will do everything in my power to guarantee that all Coloradans feel safe and welcome in our state.
Access to a quality education is a fundamental right that every child should receive. I am an educator and I will work to give every child the opportunity to succeed.
I believe Early Childhood Education should be a fundamental piece of any Statewide education program. I support full-day kindergarten for all students in the state. Under my plan, we would fund the program through Colorado’s existing per-pupil funding formula. The current public school kindergarten would be expanded to achieve the full day programming. Early childhood education is proven to have an enormous impact on children’s development. Full-day kindergarten will help working families by lowering daycare or child care costs and giving parents the ability to get back to work faster. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia already fund full-day kindergarten. I will work hard to make sure Colorado’s kids have this opportunity.
I also support increasing options for students who want to choose a trade or technical career. We need to identify and work with business communities to develop and expand Community College so everyone can afford higher education. We should also build on the work of success stories in our own community, like the St. Vrain Valley School District’s Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) program that allows students to earn technical degree at the same time as their high school diploma.
Investing in education will guarantee our kids a bright future.
Working families in Boulder County can no longer achieve the American Dream of Affordable Housing. I have worked on this issue before. When I served on the Boulder County Board of Health, we helped provide housing assistance to hundreds of families who lost their homes during the catastrophic flood in 2013.
I will lead the effort to increase affordable housing through Public – Private partnerships and the establishment of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Boulder County has some of the best practices in the state for mixed-income housing opportunities that also maintain diverse and inclusive communities and keep families together. I will sponsor legislation which will finally bring this issue to the forefront for the entire state.
Addressing our states transportation and infrastructure is crucial to addressing sustainability in Colorado.
Upfront, it is extremely disappointing that RTD has repeatedly delayed the start of the Fast Track system to Northern Colorado. Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville citizens has been supplying a lot of transportation dollars with little commuter rail opportunities to show for it.
While, ultimately, the RTD board makes the final call, if elected to the State House, I work to advance the start time AND trying to get a larger share of the programming into commuter rail. Prioritizing only road lane expenditures will not help reduceour dependency on fossil fuels. Bottom line, I believe we need more of a commitment to rail infrastructure and mass transportation, not expanding highways.